Pitching rescues another brilliant year for Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Brewers reached the playoffs for the fourth year in a row – a first for the franchise – and boast of having the best rotation in the majors, which could help them extend that streak.
But the loss to the Braves in the NL Division Series revealed that they may need to improve their lineup if they want to play in the World Series for the first time since 1982.
With a roster that struggled at times to score runs during the season, Milwaukee just scored a total of six in the four-game series. The Brewers did not score in 33 of 36 innings in the playoffs.
“We have the best pitchers in the major leagues, I think,” acknowledged first baseman Rowdy Tellez on Tuesday, after the Brewers were eliminated in a 5-4 loss to Atlanta in the fourth game. “I think after this loss, it has been difficult. It is devastating ”.
The Brewers won 95 games and assumed the final lead of the NL Central in June, but the franchise that has never won the World Series continues to rack up frustrations.
Milwaukee fell one game away from reaching the World Series in 2018 before losing in Game 7 of the championship series at home to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since then the Brewers have not won a playoff series.
The Brewers had reason to believe they could go far in the postseason this year because their rotation includes candidate Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43 ERA), Brandon Woodruff (9-10, 2.56) and Freddy Peralta (10- 5, 2.81). Burnes is one of the league’s Cy Young Award contenders.
“All those guys stepped up,” said manager Craig Counsell. “And they want that label, what they won this year and they deserve it. And I think they will not stop insisting to reach the next level ”.
His pitchers were good enough to help the Brewers win the division title without much batting. They were on 27 of 30 teams in batting average (.233), although they were twelfth in runs scored (738).
The Braves exposed the limitations of the offensive order in Milwaukee’s lineup, leaving pitchers with little margin for error. When Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman hit the tie-breaking homer off star closer Josh Hader in the eighth inning of Game 4, the Brewers had no response. — AP